Sunday, April 10, 2011

Reassurance in the Garden

There is something about the normal progression of spring that surprises and elates the spirit. We get used to disappointments in life. There are the small daily ones that we can shuck off philosophically, but then there are the big ones. These are harder to accept, so we seem to have a separate compartment in our brains for big ones, ones that we don't feel we have much power to change, like the disappointment that humans seem to be destroying the earth that supports them, or that we have not found a way to transcend large conflicts without going to war. We live with the daily knowledge of all these potentially life-threatening things in the world. And so when I go out to the garden in early spring, seaching for signs of life, it is exhilerating to find that yet again Nature has come through. For weeks now, some perennials have been growing above ground, but the dead branches of last year's growth on other plants make me prepare for another disappointment. Oh well, I think; these things happen. And then this morning there is a whole row of some as-yet unidentified perennial herb that is showing red-green growth just peeking out of the soil, and I feel like kicking my heels in joy! Yes! Another successful voyage through a hard winter.

The top picture above is of bergamot coming back. Bergamot is such a beautiful, vigorous herb. It will survive anything, drought, flood, heat, cold. The second picture is of the plant I just found this morning, its identity still a mystery because it is still so tiny. The third picture is of Maralroot, a new (to me) wonder medicinal. Here's what the Richter's Herb Catalog says about it: "Siberian perennial with remarkable metabolic and tonic effects. Studied by Russian scientists and used in the Russian athletic training program for decades. A potent "adaptogen" that helps increase endurance, reflexes, concentration, and faster recovery from exertion.....Improves memory and learning." And it seems to love growing in Iowa, adapting from Siberia just fine. I haven't harvested any roots yet, but my second year plants are already lush and growing fast. This year they will produce their first lush violet flowers. And I have plenty first-year plants at my stand at the farmers market, if any of you are interested in trying this in your own gardens.

No comments:

Post a Comment